Israel Trip – Day 10 – Homeward Bound – or, the Long Day the Sequel

USA!  USA!  USA!  Well, after getting a couple of hours of sleep,we caught an early bus to take us to the Tel Aviv airport.  We left the hotel at 12:30 am Israel time.  We had to do this because some of the people in our group had an earlier flight and they wanted to consolidate trips as much as possible.

Sooooo, we were at the Tel Aviv airport way early and had to wait for about an hour and a half (I think – might be my jet lagged mind though) before we could check our luggage.  We finally got our luggage checked at 3:15 am and then went through the multiple security checkpoints. They went very smoothly though.

We got to our gate about an hour and a half before our flight to Vienna, Austria boarded around 5:30 am.  That flight was around three and a half hours, so that part wasn’t too bad.  We flew both of our homeward bound legs on Austrian Air and they were nice planes and the crew was wonderful on both flights.

The Mediterranean Sea shore line at Tel Aviv shortly after takeoff.

On the way to Vienna, we went over what I think might have been the Alps.  I’m too tired to try to figure it out, so leave a comment if you have more info.  Lol

We arrived in Vienna without any issues.  Judging from how the countryside looked flying into Vienna, it is a very beautiful place.

Vienna has beautiful farmland, rolling hills and those oh-so-familiar wind turbines like what we have in our home area.

We had a short layover in vienna, but went through scanners so we had to toss our water bottles unfortunately.  So, yet another water bottle purchase in the Vienna airport.  But it gave me a chance to get a 20 cent piece.  So now I have some euro coins and a few of the NIS (New Israeli Sheckle) for a souvenir. The only problem is that the smaller water bottles that I got for my wife and mother-in-law,  had no English on them at all.  So it turns out I accidentally got them that carbonated “sparkling water” instead.  Oops.  Made for some interesting fizzing when my wife added her powdered flavor packet to it.  Yikes!

Them, it came….. that dreaded leg of the trip.  The 10 and a half hour flight from Vienna to Chicago’s O’Hare airport.  The flight was smooth, but long.  Austrian Air has some good food, so I couldn’t complain. Plus they kept us very hydrated at all times.  Each seat had a “personal entertainment” screen to help pass the time with movies, TV shows and games.  It was kind of funny watching my wife and mother-in-law play that “find the hidden objects” game for a while.

Then, we finally landed at O’Hare airport.  This is the first time that I have come back into the country with a passport.  Yeah, I know….rookie, right?  Lol. All of my travel for work has been domestic, so this was a new experience for me and my wife.  My mother-in-law has been outside the US before though.

One saying kept running through my head while at O’Hare, and it was a quote from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, where Arthur Dent proclaimed “I’m British, I know how to queue“, meaning spending forever in very long lines…  I may not be British, but wow, can I relate.  Yes, I just let my geek show a little there.

As I am typing this, we are sitting on the Van Galder bus headed to Rockford where my son-in-law (Jason) is going to pick us up.  Not quite home yet, but the hard part is behind us.

I hope these blog posts of our adventure to Israel have been a blessing and hopefully a little inspirational to make you want to go there.  I can guarantee that it is VERY much worth the small investment in going.  Our Tour Guide Irit said one thing at the very first day of our tour that I will never, ever forget.  She said “You have been reading your Bible in black and white.  After this tour, you will see the Bible in color.”    How true, Irit.  Oh, how true.

Let me know if you have any questions or comments.  Please leave them in one of my posts about our trip and I would be happy to respond to you.

And with that, I bid you my final Shalom from our Israel trip.  God bless!
– michael

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5 Responses to Israel Trip – Day 10 – Homeward Bound – or, the Long Day the Sequel

  1. Melanie Wright says:

    What an incredibly wonderful travel blog! We just returned from this very same 10 Day Pilgrim Tours trip and you captured it perfectly. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Melanie. Who did you end up having for your tour guide? For my blog, it was very hard to decide which pictures to use. Between my wife and I, we took over 1,400 pics with our cell phones! lol 🙂 I would love to go back there sometime.


      • Melanie Wright says:

        Michael, We had Avi Levi as our tour guide. He was wonderful and read the related scriptures at each of our locations. He also detailed the history of each site. I thought I took a lot of pictures (about 400), but when I saw yours, I wished I had taken more! Did y’all go to Bethsaida, the home of Philip, Andrew and Peter and the possible site of the multiplication of the loaves and the fishes? Just wondering because I don’t recall seeing any pictures there. Thanks again for your post!


        • Unfortunately, Bethsaida was not one of the sites that we hit, but we hit soooooo many other sites – It was almost overwhelming how many different things and places we saw. It was amazing and I would love to go back and take it all in again. I would love to spend a little longer though if I could. 🙂


  2. Bill says:

    Thanks Mike…I will return to your pictures again!

    Liked by 1 person

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